Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Isaiah-Ahaz Made Bad Choices

By Mary Vee
II Kings 15, 16 and II Chronicles 28

From the Journals of Isaiah


Photo Courtesy
Ahaz did not do as God instructed. He continued to do things God specifically said not to do. Yes, he was twenty years old, but still, God had sent men to give him wise instruction and he ignored them. 

Ahaz, instead, chose to do the same bad things as our brothers living in Israel did. He made cast idols for worshiping the Baals, offered sacrifices in the Valley of Ben Hinnom, harmed children, he also offered sacrifices at the high places to the Baals and under every spreading tree.

The people of Judah for the most part listened to Ahaz and followed him in worshiping Baal.

Because Ahaz would not stop worshiping Baal, God allowed Pekah, king of Israel and Rezin, king of Aram to attack Judah. 

In one day, Pekah and Rezin killed one hundred and twenty thousand soldiers in Judah, because Judah had chosen not to worship the Lord, the God of their fathers. So many lives lost. How sad.

After the battle, the Israelite soldiers took many prisoners. These prisoners were their own brothers who lived in Judah! Not only did they take prisoners to become their slaves but they stole things from the people's homes and businesses.

But, God sent a prophet named Oded to Samaria, the place where the Israelite soldiers lived. Obed waited for the army to return. When they arrived he said, "I have a message for you from the Lord. 

"Because the Lord, the God of your fathers was angry with Judah for worshiping the Baals, he allowed you to conquer them. But you have done more damage than you should have. You killed your brothers in a terrible rage. 

"And now you intend to make the men and women of Judah and Jerusalem your slaves. Aren't you also guilty of sins against the Lord your God? Listen to me. Send back your fellow countrymen which you took as prisoners, for the Lord's fierce anger is on you."

The leaders listened to Oded's words and turned quickly to the rest of the army. The leaders said, "You must not bring those prisoners here or we will be guilty before the Lord. If you don't follow these orders you will add to our sin and guilt. Can't you see, our guilt is already great and God's fierce anger now rests on us!"

So the soldiers gave up their prisoners and all the things they had stolen from Judah and laid it on the ground in front of their leaders. A few men were chosen to help the prisoners by giving clothes to those who needed them, food and drink to those who were hungry and thirsty, and healing balm to those who were injured. They put all the weak prisoners on donkeys, and led all the prisoners and their belongings back to Jericho.

Once all the prisoners arrived at their homes, the Israelite soldiers returned to Samaria.

Still, with all of this, Ahaz did not worship God.

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1. Was Ahaz a good king, one who obeyed God?
2. What things did Ahaz do?
3. God gave permission to Pekah and Rezin to _______________
4. What did the Israelite soldiers do wrong?
5. What did Oded tell the leaders of the Israelite army?
6. Did the Israelite soldiers do what Oded said?

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